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BEST PRACTICE GUIDELINES FOR WATER RESOURCE PROTECTION IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN MINING INDUSTRY

BPG A3 : WATER MANAGEMENT IN HYDROMETALLURGICAL PROCESSING PLANTS

U/GROUND MINING OPERATION


W ET ORE MINEW ATER

EMISSIONS

BPGA6

BPGA3

BPGA2

HYDROMETALLURGICAL MINERALSPROCESSING PLANT

SOLIDW ASTE PROCESSW ATER

MINERESIDUE DISPOSAL FACILITY

SURFACE MINING OPERATION

PRODUCT

RETURNW ATER

BPGA5

Hydrometallurgical processing plants


Milling & grinding circuits Separation circuits Refining circuits

Classifiers, hydrocyclones, screens, filters, thickeners, flotation processes, leaching, electro-winning, solvent extraction, metal recovery, precipitation

Importance of BPG
Significant user of water Producer of water containing waste Water conservation (scarce, valuable) Sustainable water use (user demand) Waste discharge charge system

(economics)

Water management objectives


Water reuse to reduce discharge Avoid / reduce effects on plant efficiency Avoid / reduce impact on environment

(universal solvent)

Applicability of BPG
Aimed at water containing waste in

hydrometallurgical processing plants on all types of mines Simplified: Small-scale mining Excluded: Pyrometallurgical & smelter operations

Objectives of BPG
Promote strategic water management

approach
Water as key business asset Water has social, cultural, environmental & economic value

Provide practical & logical process to

optimise water management

Considerations
Understand true cost & value of water Apply good housekeeping & operating practices Pollution prevention & reduction at source Optimise water management systems Inspection, monitoring, auditing, maintenance Review resource intake Optimise water reuse & reclamation Investigate cleaner technologies or modifications Water & waste management programme

Legal framework
DWAF Custodian of water resources Responsibility: protection of water resources Focus: environmental impact Acts ECA, NEMA, MPRDA NWA (Act 36 of 1998) GN 704 Minimum Requirements waste management IWWM (legal: EMP & WULA)

Mine life cycle exploration, prospecting, planning, design


Decisions at this stage : 85% of cost Life-cycle assessment (cradle-to-grave) EIA (acceptable levels) Risk assessment & management Efficiency & optimisation Feasibility studies Technologies (consider & evaluate) Inputs (water, energy, raw material) Outputs (minimise waste mass)

Mine life cycle commissioning & operational


Implementation Health & safety measures Pollution prevention strategies Good housekeeping & operating practices Technologies (evaluate & modify/improve) EMS (effective control) Improve water management Monitoring (BPG G3) Water & salt balance (BPG G2)

Mine life cycle decommissioning, closure & post-closure


Residual impacts monitoring,

performance assessment, predictive modeling Water management BPEO Finances & contracts infrastructure maintenance, land owner

Financial considerations

1. Water as key business asset


Shared community resource Scarce & valuable commodity (conserve) DWAF manage & allocate Recycling VS potable use (benefit) Pro-active: prevent VS mitigate Reuse & reclamation (BPG H3) Water management (public view, external

review)

2. True cost of water


Exploration, prospecting & planning Water supply (boreholes, service provider) Social, cultural, environmental & ecological Economic feasibility (expenses & income) Waste management & discharge Operational (infrastructure & equipment) Water reticulation & effluent treatment Maintenance & remediation Labour (skills & training) Legal & risk

2. Value of water
Cultural, social & spiritual Value of ecosystem Competing demands Impacts on downstream users Cost to operation Economic production value Loss of income, jobs or market share

Information gathering

3. Site & process knowledge Manage what you know


Site layout, locality etc Environment climate, geohydrology etc Process flow diagram, infrastructure etc Inputs characteristics, geochemistry Resources water, finance, staff Mine/plant water users quantity & quality Waste handling, hazardousness Water reticulation separate circuits etc Monitoring impacts & pollution plume

4. Water & salt balances BPG G2 water management tool


Objectives: current & future Divisions: smaller management units Updates: expansions or changes Loads: conservative salts Calculation of unknowns Hydrological cycle: seasons Output: level of detail, accuracy

5. Mine / plant water users


Water quantity requirements Water quality requirements Sensitivity to variability / changes Contaminants of concern Pollution loads Water reuse & reclamation (BPG H3) Water treatment (BPG H4)

6. Housekeeping & water management practices


Uses: dust control, transport, cooling/heating Water segregation level of contamination Material storage plan position, water contact High contamination risk areas bund Storm water management clean & dirty Cleaning clean spills immediately, use of water Equipment & maintenance (pro-active) Sustainability mine phase, plant life cycle

7. Constituents of concern
Minimise generation of contaminants Significant quantity, available for uptake & potential to cause harm/impact Review inputs (quantity, locality, alternatives) Optimise pollution prevention & reduction at sources (Step 6) Plant/mine water user quality requirements Process performance Product quality / yield Monitoring (BPG G3), maintenance &

inspections / audits

8. Water reuse & reclamation (BPG H3)


Reason: scarcity, demand, reduce discharges Opportunities: large quantities used & discharged Benefits: save cost, water conservation, limit

liabilities Considerations
Water sources Minimise intake & losses Water use inventory Reticulation (link) Discharges/disposal Treatment (BPG H4) Alternative uses Monitoring By-product recovery Sustainability Future projections/predictions

9. Process changes & cleaner technology


Pro-active & preventative approach Aim: ecological & economical efficiency Reduce: pollutant levels, waste, water

requirements, impact Implementation:


Identify Assess applicability & practicality Feasibility Monitor

9. Cleaner technology
Barriers / constraints: Economical (lack of resources, commodity price) Technological (structural, info gaps) Legislative (changing, lack enforcement) Overcoming barriers: Government intervention (incentives, assist) Education & training (knowledge, awareness) Improved planning (new vs existing)

10 & 11. IWWMP


Continuous systematic improvement

(pollution prevention, impact minimisation) Required for implementation


Resources (staff, finances) Commitment (objectives/goals, staff) Monitoring (BPG G3) Training & awareness Action plans

10 & 11. IWWMP Content


General layout, process Legislation existing, required Water environment climate, catchment Process water management (sources; users; BPG H3) Storm water management (clean & dirty) Groundwater management (pollution plume; impact) Water treatment (BPG H4) Disposal/discharge (options/alternatives, impact) Waste management (classification, leaching) Commitments (monitoring, management) Consultation process (users, authorities)

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